Sunday, June 18, 2006

Beauty and the Beasts

Ghana Impress

More than a week since the World Cup began and we have seen the first big upset - debutants Ghana beating the Czech Republic in a great game of attacking football. I feel sorry for the Czechs for they have lost Baros and Koller - their best strikers up front in attack. But we have to give credit to Ghana who played excellent attacking of the best we have seen till now.

But the team that has impressed me the most is Argentina. I doubted their abilities in previous posts but they have jelled very well as a team and with Riquelme in inspiring form. They thrashed Serbia & Montenegro 6-0, in a match that will be most remembered for the best ever team goals ever scored. After about 24 passes, Cambiasso gave a fitting tribute by finishing it off with a goal. If this isn't the beautiful game, what is?

See the beautiful passes and the goal here...

Ivory Coast, the most impressive African team, was unlucky to bow out of the World Cup after losing to Argentina and Holland, but not without a good fight in the 'group of death'. However, Poland, Costa Rica, and Paraguay have crashed out with a whimper.

Group E seems to be the real group of death and no other group seems as evenly poised as this one. Ghana beat the Czechs and USA held Italy to a 1-1 draw in a ill-tempered match which saw the red cards tally double as 3 players were sent off.

Red for Rossi

De Rossi was an embarassment to the Italian team as he was rightly sent off for elbowing USA's McBride. Before halftime, USA too were reduced to 10 men as Mastroeni was sent off for a 2-footed lunge on Pirlo, although it looked a bit harsh. Soon after halftime, USA were reduced to 9 men as defender Eddie Pope received is marching orders for a 2nd yellow card. However, they played the better attacking football as the teams soon tired out and held on to gain a point each.

Will Rossi's moment of madness hurt the Italians who were going great guns before his red card? Italy against the Czech has become a must-win game for both teams and it looks more likely now that only one among the 2 initial favorites will qualify from the group to the next round.

Teams Qualified

Teams Out
Costa Rica
Ivory Coast
Serbia & Montenegro


Blogger Sriskandhs said...

I always maintained that the grp with Italy, the grp of death. I was actually expecting the US to beat the Italians.I think that they will outplay Ghana. LEts see...

ARgentina look ominous. Messi has hardly played. And they v got some other decent players on the bench, ready to be unleashed.

England, France, Brazil have disappointed till now. But then, if they hit form now they can do some serious damage.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Lucas said...

USA might beat Ghana if they continue their good form from Italy's match, although their suspensions might hurt them. Ghana were awesome against the Czechs and are no pushovers.

Eng might face Germany in the 2nd round...that will be a very tough test for them. France-Spain is a good possibility.

Argentina shd have no fears abt peaking soon since they still have lots of great players on the bench.

11:20 PM  
Blogger SoccerGuy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:55 PM  
Blogger SoccerGuy said...

I think Argentina is the only team that impressed me now, fit to be world champions. The 6-0 trashing is just an understating score to show to the world. Those who watched the match, as you did, would say they have really telepatic teamwork, as in the Cambiasso goal. And I totally agree with you. ;)

What Brazil showed is totally different: Ronaldo a letdown, little teamwork, and only rely on Ronaldinho.

Now that Rooney's back in the English camp, we can see a much lively game played by them. With the likes of Lennon, Joe Cole, and of course, Rooney, England need not worry about the shortage of goals.

11:01 PM  

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